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The internet is rife with tutorials and ideas on how to make home repairs and renovations yourself. However, just because you’ve found step-by-step instructions doesn’t mean you’re really ready to go through with these projects. As handy as you may be, most of us do not have the experience and expertise needed to refurbish or reconstruct stuff around the house. We’re not talking about changing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets or trimming the hedges in your front yard– we’re talking about those major projects that require some sort of intervention in your home’s electrical system, plumbing, or structural integrity. These are the home repair projects that you should never DIY.

Roof Repairs or Replacement

A home isn’t really a home if your roof can’t keep your family dry. Repairing or replacing your roof is a big job that is really best left to the professionals. However, it’s also one of those projects that is most likely to be co-opted by scammers– especially if there was a heavy rain or hail that left damage across your area. To make sure you aren’t conned by storm chasers, look for the following signs when you need a roof replacement:

  • The average cost of a roof replacement is between $4,900 and $14,100. If their estimates are wildly below these numbers, the roofer will probably stick you with additional charges or hidden fees in order to scam you. If you’re unsure, get multiple estimates to make an informed decision.

  • Look for signs they’re disreputable: out-of-state licenses, outdated insurance, vague contingency agreements, short-term warranties, and a poor online reputation are all red flags to look for.

  • Ask for copies of all receipts and proofs-of-purchase for materials used in your repairs. Storm chasers have been known to buy materials on credit before they get out of town, leaving the homeowner responsible for covering the final bill and paying twice for the same thing!

Malfunctioning Plumbing

Your home’s plumbing is one of its most underappreciated features. Malfunctioning plumbing can manifest in different ways: dripping faucets, clogged drains, low water pressure, running toilets, and funky smells are all tell-tale signs. If you try to fix your home’s plumbing on your own, one little mistake in a specific area can lead to bigger problems for the whole system, and eventually, you’ll have to call in an expert for help. Skip that headache by calling a plumber over in the first place. A qualified plumber will have proof of their license, references, and liability insurance.

Installing New Lighting

It’s shocking how many homeowners think they can handle lighting installations themselves. Working with electricity is incredibly dangerous. Mishandle your fixtures, and it can lead to serious injury or even death. There are some lighting DIY projects that are safe, but these generally involve simply plugging in fixtures and hiding wires. Major projects, on the other hand, require permits and inspections from professionals. If the project requires rewiring, running cables, or installing outlets, you definitely should hire a professional electrician.

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If a project has the potential to harm you or your home, it’s best to avoid the DIY route. Jobs like roof replacements, plumbing repairs, and installing new lighting require experts who have the education and experience to do things right the first time. Trying to tackle these projects yourself can, in a best-case scenario, lead to a big mess that will require professional attention anyway. The worst-case scenario is injury or even death, so just call the experts from the start. When hiring contractors, plumbers, or electricians, look for local people who have great references on top of their licenses to ensure you get the best work for the money you pay.